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oct 30

Paris: Love and shelter for less than 100 euros

Mama Shelter (Francis Amiand)
Courtyard at Hôtel Amour (Courtesy dolarz/Flickr)

Paris is known for its palace hotels—dens of luxury that conjure up an earlier empire and carry price tags upwards of €800 ($1000) per night. Of course, not everyone wants to roll like Marie Antoinette, and many travelers would rather have Google Talk (with Internet-based phone calls) than a gilded chandelier. In 2008, the hotels grabbing headlines don't have heated marble floors. They have iMacs, MP3 players, and graffiti artist design. They're also priced (gasp!) under €100 ($125). Here are two of my favorites:

Hôtel Amour
Fun, funky and entirely free of frump, the twenty rooms at Hôtel Amour are among the most hyped in Paris. Each one has a unique design—there's a surreal storybook in 202, a sex-disco in 401, and 204 is entirely covered in leather. Graffiti artist (and hotel partner, along with nightlife scion Thierry Costes) has filled 405 with compromising images of Batman and Robin. This signature room is more expensive, at €150 ($186) per night, but other rooms start at only €90 ($112). In addition to eye-popping design, they all have the same comfy mattresses you'll find at the Hôtel Ritz. In trade, the hotel has ditched the TV and telephone, assuming that their clients have a Blackberry (or at least some mobile phone) and better things to do… like hanging on the fashion-haunted outdoor terrasse. 8 rue Navarin, 9th arrondissement, 011-33/1-48-78-31-80

Mama Shelter

This hotel is the newborn love child of interior design star Philippe Starck, French philosopher Cyril Aouizerate, and the founder of Club Med. With its iMacs and Superman-shaped lamps, Mama Shelter appeals to a young and tech-savvy clientele. Rooms start at only €79 ($98), leaving plenty of cash for nocturnal fun. Just downstairs, the hotel bar is already pulling a crowd with its creative cocktails, and the neighboring Flèche d'Or is one of the city's best venues for live rock and electro. Hotel guests even get to jump to the front of their line for live shows. 109 rue de Bagnolet, 20th arrondissement, 011-33/1-43-48-48-48, mamashelter.com

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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